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Nudging Physical Activity:A Randomized Controlled Field Experiment


  • Takunori ISHIHARA
  • Rei GOTO
  • Takanori IDA


In this paper, we discuss a field experiment for encouraging behavioral changes that could result in engagement in physical activity using two types of “nudges”: private information and social comparison information. In our experiment, the information provision group was notified solely about their own average step number. The social comparison group received information about their own average steps and a frequency distribution table describing both the relative ranking of each person and the distribution of steps in the group. Our findings are summarized as follows. First, we found the positive effects by private information and social comparison information. Second, we found the effect of social comparison in addition to information provision treatment was larger than the private information treatment only. Finally, we found the effects of treatments do not decrease or vanish during our experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Takunori ISHIHARA & Taro TOMIZUKA & Rei GOTO & Takanori IDA, 2019. "Nudging Physical Activity:A Randomized Controlled Field Experiment," Discussion papers e-19-009, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kue:epaper:e-19-009

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    Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT); Physical Activity (PA); Information Provision; Social Comparison.;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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